Joanne the handmaiden

Having always been unusually interested in things of a spiritual nature, Joanne was a very active Presbyterian girl.  At the age of twelve, she was asked to play piano for Sunday School.A Presbyterian Church 3 -just before replaced She participated in Youth Fellowship, sang in the choir, played duets and solos, substituted for the church organist and, during summer months, accompanied her minister, Rev. Felty of The First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs, Michigan, to Cross Village each Sunday Evening.

Cross Village

He preached a sermon to the little congregation there and Joanne played the ancient, pump organ. Joanne was always inquisitive and her minister loved to explain the gospel to her. Most of her questions were centered around family.

After she married, Joanne and Arnold moved down state to Mount Pleasant, Michigan for Arnold to attend college at Central Michigan. One day two missionaries, Elder Terry Peterson and Elder Lloyd Shirley, were tracting their trailer court. It was a rainy, cold afternoon and they were disheartened that no one was interested in their message so they were about to head on home, when one of them said, “Just one more door.”

Joanne answered that door and let them in.

1962 12 07 MissionariesJoanne asked them some of the questions she had asked Rev. Felty before and felt she agreed with some of their answers, so she studied with them for a while and after a bit she decided it was her desire to join this church. Her husband wasn’t as convinced yet. But he liked seeing the young children in the Jr. Sunday School be able to give talks in public. He thought that would be a good thing for his children to be able to learn to do and not be shy as he had been when he was younger. Joanne was baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints on her 20th birthday by, “her Elders”.JoBaptismSince that time, much of her time and effort was put into building and supporting that organization.


Arnold soon joined the church and they raised all 12 of their children in the church. ChapelJoanne played the piano and organ wherever they moved, Michigan, Florida and Utah. She served in many callings from teacher of young children to leadership positions in the female Relief Society and everything in between. Joanne wrote and directed Road Shows, taught people how to do genealogy and as a highlight in her mind, she served a stake mission with her eternal companion. She loved being the unofficial mom to the missionaries wherever she lived.

Howse Fam 2000Joanne loved God, and she taught her children to be good and kind to everyone.

Joanne was an honorable handmaiden


2 thoughts on “Joanne the handmaiden”

  1. Hi there! My name is Amy Vande Streek; I am an interior designer at Jennifer Butler Interior Design. We are writing an article for Michigan Home & Lifestyle about unconventional homes. First Presbyterian Church, as pictured for the wedding you write about, was transformed into a residence in 2006 and we were the interior designers for that project. For this article, I’m wondering if you’d be comfortable sharing that photo with us for inclusion in the article, to show a photo of the church prior to being converted into a home. If you’d like us to credit your family for use of the photo, please let me know what family name you would prefer to be printed. If you can reply before December 15, 2015, that would be greatly appreciated, as the editorial is due on December 18 and will be printed in the 2016 Spring issue. Thank you for your consideration! Best regards, Amy


    1. Amy are you talking about the Cross Village Presbyterian Church or the Harbor Springs one? I believe I can get a better resolution photo of the Cross Village one but need to ask a cousin, which shouldn’t take too long to do.


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